Join us for Easter in Big Canoe
2020 EASTER CELEBRATION
February 26th • LENT begins [Learn More Here]
February 26 – 12:00 Noon • Ash Wednesday Service [Learn More Here]
Sunday, April 5 – 9:00 & 10:30 a.m. • Palm Sunday Services [Learn More Here]
Thursday, April 9 – 7:00 p.m. • Maundy Thursday Service [Learn More Here]
Friday, April 10 – 7:00 p.m. • Good Friday Service [Learn More Here]
Sunday, April 12 – 7:00 a.m. • Community-Wide Easter Sunrise Service at the Terraces
Sunday, April 12 – 9:00 & 10:30 a.m. • Easter Sunday Services [Learn More Here]
THE SEASON of LENT Begins February 26, 2020
In the Christian faith, Lent is the season leading up to Easter Sunday, the day Christ was resurrected from the dead. Lent lasts forty days, representing the forty days Jesus spent in the desert wilderness preparing to begin his ministry and enduring temptation by the Devil (see Luke 4: 1-13).
The word “Lent” comes from lencten (Anglo-Saxon meaning “spring.”) References to Lent have been documented as far back as 1000 AD. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at Easter. Sundays in Lent are not
counted in the forty days because each Sunday in Lent is a time of celebration- a time to anticipate the coming Resurrection with joy.
For Christians, Lent is a time of self-examination in preparation for Easter. It offers a chance to look within and let the Holy Spirit help us see things about ourselves that we need to change, ways in which we have fallen short in our relationship with God. It is a time of increased spiritual discipline and purpose. Often believers commit to giving up certain luxuries to remind themselves of Christ’s sacrifice. Alternately, some believers may begin daily devotionals or prayers, or commit to doing certain acts of charity in remembrance of Jesus’ Love for all.
Lent is a period of incredible opportunity to draw closer to God.
ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICE – February 26, 2020 at 12:00 Noon
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent – a time 40 days before Easter when Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation, and heightened spiritual discipline. In the Ash Wednesday Service, we will follow a centuries-old tradition in which ashes in the shape of a cross are placed on our foreheads. The ashes are made from the palms that were used in our Palm Sunday Celebration last year.
Ashes have a long history in both Jewish and Christian religions. The ashes on Ash Wednesday are an outward sign of both repentance and hope for forgiveness. They indicate that we recognize our shortcomings before God and acknowledge our own mortality: “Dust thou art, to dust thou shall return” (Genesis 3:19). But despite this, as we begin our journey toward Easter, we are filled with Hope knowing that at Easter Jesus triumphed over both our sins and our physical death. To those who truly repent Jesus, offers forgiveness and the promise of eternal life.
PALM SUNDAY SERVICES – April 5, 2020 – 9:00 and 10:30 a.m.
Today, on Palm Sunday, we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It was the Jewish festival of Passover and the whole city was crowded.
At this time, the Jews were being crushed by the tyranny of the Roman Empire. Long ago it had been prophesied that a Messiah would come to rescue them from persecution.
Jesus was well-versed in Jewish scripture. He knew the Messianic prophecies and, on Palm Sunday, he entered Jerusalem accordingly: In Bethphage, he mounted a donkey (Matthew 21: 1-3; Mark 11: 1-7; Luke 19:28-40). From Bethphage, Jesus rode the donkey 2 miles to the Mount of Olives then a short distance across the Kidron Valley,
through the Eastern or Golden Gate, and on into Jerusalem. The horribly oppressed Jews welcomed Jesus as their long-awaited Messiah. In joy they waved palm branches and shouted “Hosanna“- a phrase meaning “save us”.
MAUNDY THURSDAY SERVICE – April 9, 2020 – 7:00 p.m.
Maundy Thursday, also known as “Holy Thursday”, is the Thursday of Passion Week, one day before Good Friday. It is the name given to the day on which Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples. This is called the Last Supper because shortly after this Jesus was arrested and crucified.
Two important events occurred on Maundy Thursday. First, before the supper, Jesus washed the feet of all of his disciples, thereby setting the example that his followers should love and serve one another with humility. The word “Maundy” is derived from the Latin word for “command” (mandatum). This refers to the “new commandment” that Jesus gave his Disciples after he had washed their feet: “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you are to love one another. If there is love among you then all will know that you are my disciples” (John 13:34, New English Bible).
During the Last Supper, “Jesus took bread and having said the blessing, he broke it and gave it to the disciples with the words: ‘Take this and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup and having offered thanks to God, he gave it to them with the words: ‘Drink from it all of you. For this is my blood, the blood of the new covenant, shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.’ (Matthew 26: 26-28, New English Bible).’’ With these acts, Jesus instituted the ritual of Holy Communion (the Eucharist) which we will re-experience and commemorate at our Maundy Thursday Service.
GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE – April 10, 2020 – 7:00 p.m.
On Good Friday, we reflect on the death of Jesus Christ. It’s called “good” because of what Jesus’ death means for the redemption of the world. Our worship this evening focuses on three aims: 1) to narrate and remember the last words that Jesus spoke from the cross, 2) to open up to the meaning of these words for our understanding of Jesus and our redemption accomplished by the cross, and, 3) to invite worshipers to renewed prayer and dedication. We will worship in a tenebrae worship setting. That is, during the service there will be increased darkness and silence to remind us of the darkness of Good Friday. As the darkness deepens, we can reflect on the great emotional and physical pain that was very real for Jesus as he died on the cross that day. The darkness also reminds us of the darkness that covered the land when Jesus was crucified (Mark 15: 33), and in the darkness and silence we can know the sacrificial love of Jesus for us all.
EASTER SUNDAY SERVICES – April 12, 2020 – 9:00 a.m. AND 10:30 a.m.
“But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” – Matthew 28:5,6b
Easter Sunday Services April 12, 9:00 & 10:30 a.m.: A Celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
On Resurrection Sunday, we proclaim and celebrate the glorious news that Jesus has been raised from the dead. The Resurrection of Jesus changes everything. The Resurrection is at the very center of all Christian belief regardless of the denomination. As the great theologian George Eldon Ladd declared, “With the Resurrection we have everything; apart from the Resurrection we have nothing.” By being raised from the dead, as he foretold, Jesus is authenticated as the Son of God. Thus, he has authority to forgive our sins, restore our broken relationship with God, and lead us to life everlasting. That is good news, indeed!